It is over 800 years since the first Mayor of London, Henry FitzAilwyn, took office. He was in office between 1189 and 1212 and although it has long been the tradition to hold office for only one year, several early Mayors, including Dick Whittington, held office for a number of years. Sir Christopher Collett GBE. MA. was the 661st Lord Mayor of London. It was his privilege to preside over a number of special events that were held during 1989 to mark 800 years of the City of London Mayoralty as a result of which he was able to establish the 800th Anniversary Awards Trust.
Since 1189, the Corporation of the City of London has evolved into a highly sophisticated organisation that is today responsible for the infrastructure of the modern City. The Corporation comprises members of Common Council, the Court of Aldermen, the Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor. They have guardianship of a wealth of amenities for the 300,000 people who work in the City each day and steer the policy that keeps the Square Mile a vibrant, world-leading place of commerce.
Also vital to the life of the City are the Livery Companies representing a great many trades and professions, both ancient and modern, centred on the Square Mile. The Companies support schools, colleges, universities and industry by way of prizes, exhibitions, awards, research fellowships, bursaries and nominations and every year the Livery raises considerable sums of money for many different charities.
The Mayoralty is an office steeped in tradition but geared to the needs of modern life. Today the Lord Mayor‘s main role is to support and promote UK Financial and professional services He or she visits about 25 countries each year leading delegations of senior business representatives.